“Work is not a place nor a time; it´s just an activity”

This post is also available in: Spanish

The tittle of this post is quoted because these words -or so similar words that may be considered a citation- were stated by Sara Chinarro in the talk she delivered last Thursday in the 4rd Congress on Corporate Social Responsibility held this week in the city of Zaragoza.

In principle, it may seem obvious. Work is an activity, of course. But read it again…

“Work is not a place, nor a time…”

Work is not a place? you may question yourself. It is the place we refer to when, for example, we say: “I go to work”. And it is also a time: “I can´t speak now, I am at work”.

Nevertheless, Sara´s statement is fully consistent: it is an accurate summary of the paradigm shift in the field of work due to the communication technologies. Moreover, a radical change.

Someone may say that this is not big deal. Namely, it may not be so evident when it comes to traditional professions, manual works or craftwork. I am think, as close examples, in farmers or health workers. From a conservative point of view, these professions may today be very similar to how they were, let´s say, ten years ago: most of farmers go usually to their lands to carry out their hard work, and health workers treat their patients in the hospital.

However, from a looking-forward perspective, even in the traditional professions, many disrupting progresses may be seen: farmers managing their irrigation systems or controlling their tractors and machinery remotely by means of a computer, health practitioners combining their face-to-face consultations with video-conferences and controlling their patient´s health conditions thanks to realtime data sent by wearable devices, etcetera. All this may be now in an early stage but, in one way or another, the implementation of these technologies is a question of time, even in the most traditional professions.

On the other side, there are lot of professions in which technology is now much more established. I, for example, develop most of my work in my office at home: I search information, have meetings and deliver most of my work from the computer. I manage and organize the work. Sometimes, I go to certain places, like this CSR Congress held in Zaragoza. But even in this case, it may be followed from any computer, as there was a livestream of the event available on the Internet.

There are lot of cases like this. Whether it is your case or not, imagine your work if all the available technology -or those that will for sure come- were applied, read again Sara´s words and think if it makes sense or not:

“Work is not a place nor a time; it´s just an activity”

In this context, companies and professionals face a new scenario. Work organization is not limited to what happens in the workplace from 8 to 13 and 14 to 17 hours.

It is all about a disruptive change in the organizations and, also, in the people´s mindset. Off we go!

These days, there will be further posts on the 4rd Congress on CSR in Zaragoza 😉